With the city’s two sporting bodies — Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) and District Sports Office (DSO) — refusing to cooperate with each other, it is the children who suffer. Yesterday, JB Petit High School (Fort) bore the brunt of poor scheduling and ended up playing back-to-back matches in separate competitions.
The girls played their DSO U-17 city football semi-final against Bombay Scottish (Mahim) at Naigaon Police Ground, Dadar at 12 pm. A little over an hour later, they played their MSSA U-16 match at Azad Maidan against Jamnabai Narsee. Nevertheless, the Fort team won the DSO semi-finals 2-0 and drew their match against Jamnabai 1-1.
Petit coach Fenny Fernandes said he was disappointed MSSA didn’t pay heed to their request of rescheduling their match. “Since we were playing the semi-finals of the DSO tournament and didn’t expect the organisers to change the timings, we requested MSSA to postpone our match.
But the MSSA football secretary (Anslem Alphonso) told me to choose between the two events. I chose DSO. Just after the girls finished playing the DSO match, I got a call from MSSA that our opponents were waiting for the match and we needed to reach the venue.
“The girls had a hard time playing back-to-back matches. Though they were tired they went to Azad Maidan and played. I appreciate their spirit. With none of the organisers ready to co-operate it’s these girls who suffer ultimately,” said Fernandes.
Meanwhile, Alphonso blamed DSO for the mess. “Coaches come and request me to reschedule their matches. Why can’t DSO also co-operate. Because of DSO our scheduling goes for a toss. So we decided to tell the coaches to choose between the two tournaments,” said Alphonso.
G-U-16: Dhirubhai Ambani 5 (Saachi Munot 2, Satvi Kumar, Manushi Asher 2) bt Hiranandani Foundation 0; JB Petit 1 (Alaia Singh) drew with Jamnabai Narsee 1 (Riyal Behl); St Lawrence 4 (Swamini Shelar, Shivanj Sharma, Mansi Gupta, Tanvi Aorane) bt St Thomas 0